Paris, 9 July 2022
In a letter to Madam Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, congratulated her appointment, on behalf of the Centre’s 400,000 worldwide membership.
Samuels added outrage at the Holocaust banalization addressed to the Prime Minister by the opposition President of the left-wing populist “La France Insoumise” – the leading party of the NUPES group (New Ecologic and Social People’s Union) – in the National Assembly (lower chamber of Parliament).
“The description of the Prime Minister as a ‘survivor’ pointed to her late father, Joseph Bornstein, who in 1940 had joined the Resistance, had been captured and deported by the Nazis and had survived Auschwitz and the death march,” noted Samuels.
Many MPs saw this language as comparable to how Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the extreme-right National Front, described the Holocaust as “a minor detail in the history of World War Two.”
“Such language could incite antisemites and neo-Nazis in France and beyond,” added Samuels.
“Furthermore, I had sat in the gallery of the Assemblée Nationale in December 2019, to applaud the adoption of the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Antisemitism, which included Holocaust/Shoah denial. It is an irony that, reportedly, there are MPs who still require an education in the IHRA Definition.”
“Madam Prime Minister, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre wishes you success in the challenges ahead and would appreciate a meeting with you at an early opportunity,” concluded Samuels.